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Top 10 OSHA Citations for 2017

October 11, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced the Top 10 most frequently cited alleged violations for fiscal year 2017, which ended September 30.  The list changes little from year to year, but this year violation number nine, “Fall protection – training requirements,” is new.  The top five violations remained identical to the list for FY 2016.

The top 10 OSHA standards allegedly violated during FY 2017 are:

1. Fall protection in construction; frequently violated requirements include failure to provide fall protection for unprotected edges and open sides in residential construction and failure to provide fall protection on low-slope roofs.

2. Hazard communication, mostly for not implementing a written hazcom program and for not having or not providing employee access to safety data sheets.

3. Scaffolding; frequent violations include improper access to surfaces and lack of guardrails.

4. Respiratory protection, especially for failure to establish a written respiratory protection program and failure to provide medical evaluations.

5. Lockout/tagout, mostly for inadequate worker training and failure to conduct periodic inspections.

6. Ladders in construction; frequent violations include improper use of ladders, damaged ladders, and using the top step.

7. Powered industrial trucks, mainly for inadequate worker training and refresher training.

8. Machine guarding, mostly for failing to guard points of operation.

9. Fall protection – training requirements; common violations include failure to train workers in identifying fall hazards and proper use of fall protection equipment.

10. Electrical – wiring methods; violations include temporary wiring in lieu of permanent wiring.

These potential hazards and violations are “low-hanging fruit” for OSHA inspectors because they are common at many facilities and easy to spot.  It is worthwhile for employers to review the list and consider whether extra attention should be given to specific potential hazards in the workplace. 


Our Insights are published as a service to clients and friends. They are intended to be informational and do not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation.

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